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Farmer seek state's help to waive Sh100m debt

By Nderitu Gichure | January 16th 2020 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

Members of the Rumukia Coffee Society have asked the government to waive Sh100 million in loans to save it from collapse.

The coffee society in Mukurweini, Nyeri County, acquired the loans from government-owned financial institutions.

Making repayments has, however, left farmers with little in the way of coffee earnings as their pay is deducted to service the loans.

Some farmers have now threatened to abandon coffee farming.

The society's chairman Paul Kariuki yesterday said past leadership wrangles had also affected management.

“We are asking the national government to intervene and waive this debt. We want to get back to the good old times when we could make money from coffee," he said, speaking at a farmers' meeting in Thunguri.

During the meeting, Mr Kariuki asked farmers who were considering abandoning the crop not to do so. He urged them to go back to their farms and increase production instead, saying the future looked promising.

Kariuki also denied allegations that current leadership was misappropriating the society's finances, saying both county and national government auditors had given the managers a clean bill of health.

He said when the current management took office in 2015, it inherited a Sh100 million debt from four State-owned institutions.

Kariuki said one financial institution deducted Sh40 million all at once when farmers' pay was credited into the society's accounts, contrary to an agreement that it would deduct Sh10 million over a period of four years.

“We were forced to go back to banks and borrow more money to stay afloat. The poor prices at the international market have also not helped much," he said.

Rumukia Coffee Society
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